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file format / archive solution

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Tom Mooney
file format / archive solution
on Jun 26, 2006 at 7:50:24 pm

I have 40 hrs of footage on S-VHS that has to be archived onto DVD as request of the client. The client wants the footage in file form, not as a compressed DVD. I am going to digitize everything into FCP using the DV codec. I can export the files as DV but it's alot of DVD's to archive all the footage. The client is going edit at are place but they also have an in house editing system running on a PC that they use for proprietary internal projects. Any suggestions on another file format to use, we have Cleaner. He must be able to use the footage on his system, we have to be able to import into FCP.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 27, 2006 at 1:49:36 am

Holy demanding request, Batman! What platform is their in office editing system? A PC I suppose? Why don't you transfer everything from SVHS to Mini-DV at your local dub house. Then go out and buy the guy a cheap DV camcorder that he can hook up via firewire to his computer. Then he can upload at his place and you can upload at your place.

With 40 hours of footage, there is no better digital format than to have them on timecoded DV tapes.

I would have suggested MPEG-2 but most likely he cannot edit with that.

Personally this sounds like a pretty unreasonable request and I would look at how the footage would be used in the future etc and then determine the best way to get him the footage.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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Tom Mooney
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 27, 2006 at 2:37:20 pm

This is for a defense contractor. They want the clips on DVD's so we can use it here on our off-line DV system and on his PC editing system. They know it's going to be 200 DVD, they don't care. This is the way they want, I was told twice it not up for debate, unfortunately. I am going to have to do it in DV coded, our sytem will allow me to loop the output of the S-VHS recorder through a mini-DV deck and digitize the footage into the system. I have no problem doing a batch in cleaner if I could reduce the file sizes but still use the clips. The image quality is not so good. Thanks again.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 28, 2006 at 2:42:04 am

Sorry to ask, but do they realize that putting the footage on DV tapes provide two very valuable things...it gives both of you timecode accuracy, so if you say tape 36 at 36:01:53:28 they can find that exact frame at their place. Also having everything on DV tape is better than MPEG-2 but saves a bunch of burning clips (with no timecode and no way to redigitize later accurately). Not to mention that the time to copy the clips to the hard drive will be pretty slow. And then there is the question of how you break up the clips to be put on the DVD's...by scene? By duration? If you have a 15 minute clip on the DVD and you only want a 5 second shot later you have to bring in the entire 15 minute shot. On tape you can simply shuttle to where you want it and grab only what you need.

You should be the proactive one here to guide them away from making a lot more headaches down the road. Digital tape, in this case, mini-DV is the most accurate archival format to transfer your svhs source tapes to.

IMO.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media


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duffbeer911
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 28, 2006 at 3:30:03 am

if he wants them as files because he doesn't have a deck/camera - why don't you get them to buy an external HD (or two) instead of burning 200 DVDs? It would save you the time of burning DVDs and be easier to manage the files.


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Tom Mooney
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 28, 2006 at 4:24:16 pm

Thanks guys and I appreciated the advice, everything you have mentioned in your posts has already been discussed over the past 2 weeks multiple times. The though of running 150 or 200 DVD is driving me crazy, I suggested a hard drive and they said NO. They have specs on alot of different jobs they do and their people have to follow them. Some of this footage is proprietary, some get used by other facilities that have security clearances, it's alot more than just a simple transfer. With a Government related job we may never know why they spec things the way they do.
Rich, you have some great advice and we have suggested all of those options to them weeks ago when we got the stuff and saw what a mess this could be, but the person in charge says it has to be done to their "spec". We are just looking for the best possible way to it under the cirumstances. They normally do not question the price, so we are well compensated for our efforts.


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Mike Velte
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jun 29, 2006 at 8:54:13 pm

A DVD with one large file on it is a recipe for disaster. If one bit cannot be read back, the file is gone and wont copy/paste!


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Charles Simonson
Re: file format / archive solution
on Jul 3, 2006 at 9:55:03 pm

Instead of capturing as DV, I would recommend capturing as MJPEG. I find the quality of MJPEG to be better than DV when exporting the final sequence and transcoding to a compressed format.


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